Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu 4 Days

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The Cachicata trek is one of the newest trekking routes on offer in the Cusco region. Based in the area around Ollantaytambo the Cachicata trek takes you past high waterfalls, Inca archaeological sites and beautiful scenery. The Cachicata trek is relatively easy compared to some of the others so it is a great option for less experienced trekkers. Another great thing about the trek is that hardly anyone does it so if you're looking to get away from the crowds then this is the trek for you!

Itinerary Details

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Day 1 Cusco - Socma - Rayan

Stop At: Cusco Region

We start out with an easy first day. Leaving from Cusco early we drive to the Sacred Valley heading for the village of Socma which is a short distance from Ollantaytambo. Just before we arrive to Socma we'll have a stop to take photos of some stone-age petroglyphs. Today's trek takes us up the valley behind Socma as we make our way to a small Inca site and beautiful waterfall that lie at the top of the valley. Walking past fields cultivated with potatoes, corn and quinua we will have the opportunity to see a variety of birds and native plants and to learn about the customs of the Andean people. Your guide will teach you a little Qhechua (the language of the Incas) so that you can communicate with the people you meet on the trek. After a relaxing morning's walk we'll finally arrive to our destination, the Inca site of Perolniyoc. After a guided tour of the site we'll carry on a short distance to our campsite at Rayan (3650m / 11975 ft.) where we'll stop for the day. In the afternoon we will visit one of the local families and you can practice the Qhechua you learnt in the morning (much to everyone's amusement).

Duration: 24 hour

Day 2 Rayan - Cachicata

Stop At: Perolniyoq Waterfall

Today is the longest day of the trek. Setting out from our campsite we'll carry on up the valley making our way to the first pass on the trek. This area is still cultivated by the local people despite the high altitudes and we will see local people caring for their fields. One of the few plants that seems to thrive at this altitude is a type of mint, (muna) and the scent infuses the air throughout the morning. In total it's about a 4 hour walk to the pass (4440m / 14567ft.) where we'll stop to take in the panorama and catch our breath before carrying on for about another 20 minutes to stop for lunch. After lunch the walking gets easier; having reached the top of the mountain the terrain levels out and we walk across the high plateau through a strange landscape of what appear to be burial mounds but are actually glacial morraine (piles of rock deposited by glaciers during the Ice Age). Our goal for today is the Inca quarry of Cachicata. Working our way down from the high plateau we'll arrive to Cachicata (3820m / 12532ft.) by late afternoon, passing by an Inca ruin which people refer to as the Sun Gate along the way.

Duration: 24 hour

Day 3 Cachicata - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

Stop At: Ollantaytambo

Today is dedicated to exploring Cachicata. Despite it's proximity to Ollantaytambo and the wide variety of interesting features, hardly anyone actually comes up here. Cachicata is an extensive site, it was the quarry used by the Inca for the construction of Ollantaytambo and there are various points of interest including several large buildings, quarried stones left half finished and abandoned throughout the site, chullpas (burial houses) and a cave with Inca mummies still in place. After a guided tour of the site we'll continue our way down the mountain following the original platform used for transporting the stones to Ollantaytambo and arrive to the town by early afternoon. From Ollantaytambo we'll take the train to Aguas Calientes.

Duration: 24 hour

Day 4 Machu Picchu - Cusco

Stop At: Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu

Waking up early we'll take the first bus back up to Machu Picchu to enter the site as it opens. We'll have a 2 hour guided tour of the site during which you'll learn about the Incas and visit all the most important areas of the citadel. After your tour you'll have free time to explore the site by yourself and if you have permits to climb either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain. In the afternoon you will take the train back to Ollantaytambo from where you will carry on by bus back to Cusco.

Duration: 4 hour
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